What is the reasoning behind not being able to assign to folders and tasks?

Pretty much the title explains everything.

  • Can’t assign an Inbox item as a new project
    • Unnecessary time spent to go to the project
    • Is there any way to assign:
      • an inbox item to a folder or a task?
      • an item/project/task from Forecast or any other place to a folder or a task?
    • Why can’t we do it?
1 Like

You can drag an inbox item to the projects tab and it will be created as a new project.

Taking an inbox item and making it a folder… hmmm. Does that really make sense? How often are you creating folders?

Dragging isn’t really my style. Everything that drags you down, makes you slower ;-)

I don’t think we’re on the same page:
When I’m processing inbox, I can assign the item from the inbox only to a project, which is in a folder, or in the sidebar.
I cannot make the item from the inbox a project (assign it to a folder i.e.), just with the tab.

Actually, there’s a shortcut to convert an inbox item to a project. It is command-! (i.e. command-shift-1). It’s right there in the edit menu :-)

I know about the shortcut, but it converts to the project and places it at the very bottom of the Sidebar window.

How often are you actually doing this? Seems every few days you’d want to do general housekeeping on the OF database and could clean/move things around.

I’m all for functionality, but putting tons of work into something that the typical user might do twice a week seems a waste of time, when there’s so much other low-hanging fruit.


How often are you actually doing this?

For now, it’s just between 5-20 (rough estimate) a week, depending on the week, and I try to keep it low.
If assigning to group-tasks and folders would be possible, I would be assigning to folders even less often and have less projects in folders and less folders, and I would have a little different (faster/better) workflow.

Seems every few days you’d want to do general housekeeping

Not the case. If I could assign tasks directly to group-tasks within projects, I would restructure my workflow a little, to not rely so much on folders. I have many (many) little projects. I would prefer to have one larger (or longer in time) project, but I can’t assign tasks directly where I want, which makes me housekeeping more than I want, because I have to switch back and forth perspectives, just to move a task into a folder (or a group-task).

Either way, if I could 1) assign a task to a folder ▸ creates a project, or 2) assign a task to an item/task within a project/group task, would solve my problem (which is the necessity of unproductive, time consuming, nerve wracking, process).

putting tons of work into something that the typical user might do twice a week seems a waste of time, when there’s so much other low-hanging fruit.

I don’t think that is the case. Most of the users assign tasks with the Tab key or the arrows, typing few first letters and hitting enter. Each of that users has to switch windows, perspectives and drag projects and tasks. I’m sure you do that to (assigning by typing a few first letters). I just hate doing things, if there is better, faster, more efficient and more logical way to do it.

Not the OP but I create projects out of inbox items maybe 10-12 times a day. The shortcut is a disaster because it always puts them at the bottom of the sidebar and that takes a long time to move it around properly.

While not ideal, I find one workaround that’s at least better than having things stuck down at the bottom is to create the project by typing it into the “Project” field, either in the second line of the Inbox item, or in the Inspector window.

You can assign it to a folder at the same time by typing the folder name first, followed by a space, a semicolon, and another space, and then the name you want to give the project – for example, “Personal : Gather Tax Forms” – and then hit CMD+ENTER to create that.

It’s not ideal, as of course it involves typing, and your Inbox task will land IN the new project, rather than AS the new project, but depending on how you enter your Inbox items, you may not be an entirely bad thing, and realistically, you’re more likely to visit the project to flesh out more details before you really start working on it anyway, at which point you could simply delete that “dummy” task that represented the project itself.

In fact you can even quickly go straight to the new project by clicking the arrow beside the Project name in the inspector once it’s created.

I’m not sure if we’re thinking of the same problem.

Your solution is obvious, and discussed as, “the only thing I can do…”.

Also, I don’t want to create the same folder, etc.

Could you elaborate? I’m worried I’m not getting your message across…


Well, I apologize if you already knew this, but it wasn’t clear from your statement that you were talking about the ability to create a new project as well, which was the main differentiation in my workaround. It’s definitely not ideal, but I find when I want to create a new project, I can just do it that way, and while sometimes I end up with a “placeholder” task that represents the project itself (since that task that might “become” the project goes into the project), that’s more easily deleted when I go into the project to further refine it, and if I really want to work on it right away, the arrow to the right of the Project field in the Inspector will take me right there after I’ve created the project (or assigned any of the other tasks in my Inbox to it).

You could also rename the task to whatever the first step in the project would be before creating the project from the Inspector, and then it would naturally flow right in there without the need to delete it or refine it further.

You wouldn’t be “creating the same folder” but creating a new project within an existing folder. If you’re looking to create an entire folder in the process, that’s not really doable in any way, but I’m not sure how common of a requirement that would be for most users. It’s certainly not something I’ve seen discussed as a common process on these forums in the past.